Knowing All About Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth or the third molars are known to the last ones to come out. These new teeth can cause problems as they erupt inside your mouth. This is because it will present a change in your dental structure. These alterations can cause you severe discomfort, pain & other symptoms and therefore you need to have enough knowledge about how the process works in order for you to understand why you need to remove the wisdom teeth.

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth 

If you are in late teens or early twenties and feel pain and difficulty in opening your mouth and have swelling and headache then these are symptoms of wisdom teeth growing in and the most probable cause for these problems is that you have impacted wisdom tooth trying to grow in. The wisdom tooth grows in after your last 12 year molar. Because of decreasing size of jaw due to evolution the problem of impacted tooth is more as they do not get enough space in jaw to grow in and when they try to grow in gums they cause severe pain and swelling in gums. and other symptoms. Mainly the pain and swelling is there when the wisdom teeth get infected. When it is infected one can have following sign and symptoms relating to wisdom teeth.

Pain in Gums – It is one of the first symptoms for impacted wisdom teeth. Pain in gums is due to infection. When the wisdom teeth try to come in the mouth and there is lack of space in gums. Initially in early stages or symptoms, it can start as dull pain but within few days it can turn into acute pain. This wisdom tooth pain can even be sometimes felt as ear ache, headache, difficultly in swallowing and other adjacent teeth can be painful. There can be pain in opening the jaw. You can also feel lethargic and you may feel feverish. So do not ignore this  symptoms of wisdom tooth and consult your dentist.

Swollen and Inflamed Gums – Another symptom of wisdom teeth growing is swollen and inflammed gums. As the wisdom tooth is trying to break in through the gums, the gums become swollen and red causing acute pain. There can be bleeding also from gums. Due to gum pain in that area, there is difficulty in swallowing.

Swelling in Jaw - The jaw swelling is another symptom of wisdom teeth growing in and it can also happen due to infection of gums which is basically due to either less space for eruption of wisdom tooth or due to wrong angle of growth of wisdom tooth. This swelling of jaw is very painful and patient is unable to open the mouth.


Bad Taste in Mouth – Bad taste in mouth is also one symptoms of infection in mouth due to growing in of wisdom teeth. This bad taste is due to infection in the gums and along with this as there is inability to open the mouth, the patient is not able to maintain very good oral hygiene. Brushing becomes difficult.

Bad Breath – Infected wisdom tooth causes pain, swelling and infection of gums and due to infection there is pus in the gums. This infection causes bad breath along with unpleasant taste in the mouth. So donot take this symptom of wisdom tooth lightly and consult your dentist.

Headache – Headache is also a symptom of growing in of wisdom tooth. Though headache is not directly related but it is mainly a referred pain and it is due to pain and swelling in gums. Because of pain and swelling the patient is not able to open the jaw and experiences headache on that side where the impacted wisdom tooth is trying to grow in.

Crowding and Decay of Teeth – Impacted wisdom tooth can cause the decay of other teeth especially adjacent molars as it is difficult to clean that area and food impaction is there. This impacted wisdom tooth can cause crowding also as they push the other teeth to create space for themselves. So crowding is also an important symptom and you can discuss with your dentist about it in your preventive dental visits to dental office.

Failure of Orthodontic Braces Treatment – If you have undergone the braces treatment and the wisdom tooth are not taken into consideration then this can cause failure of your braces treatment when wisdom teeth try to break in. So normally due to this the wisdom teeth are extracted before the start of braces treatment.

It is not always that wisdom teeth causes problems but if they are impacted they can be really dreadful and if ignored they can cause several complications ranging from gum diseases, decay and damage of other teeth. So getting the treatment for wisdom teeth is very important and the treatment is extraction of wisdom teeth.

                             Knowing all about wisdom teeth

Removing the teeth is contingent upon your jaw size.  Since it develops and grows in size, the jaw may not be able to accommodate another set of wisdom teeth. If there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth, and it may become trapped inside your jawbone. As a result, the roots of the teeth may grow in every direction causing damage to other parts of your mouth.

Impaction of Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can grow in a multitude of directions inside your mouth. If this happens, their roots can also send various lengths into the side of your mouth. Therefore, it would be harder for the tooth to be removed. You must have it removed as soon as it grows. The earlier you remove it, the better.

Assessment of Impacted Wisdom Tooth

While most people may not have problems with their wisdom teeth and usually ignore it, but it can cause severe pain it is not removed quickly. It can also be the cause other conditions and symptoms of wisdom teeth that may affect your dental health such as:

  1. Bleeding gums
  2. Gingivitis
  3. Bacterial infections 

For the sake of practicality, it is best if you have a dental appointment to check on the health of your wisdom teeth. They will be the ones to evaluate your medical history and the condition of your wisdom teeth. If they find anomalies, they will surely recommend surgical removal to help protect you from infection. They will also recommend medication that can reduce the pain that you may feel after the operation. You do not have to worry much because the dentist will surely give you all the information that you will need for assessment.

In addition to this, you must be open with your dentist regarding any reservations that you may have about the procedure. You have to discuss the dangers as well as the advantages of doing the procedure. Furthermore, you also have to decide whether you feel that the procedure would be good for you. After the discussion, if you are still not satisfied with all the information that the doctor gave you, it is best to have a second opinion about the matter.

Simple as it is, having your wisdom teeth removed is not an easy thing to do. There are so many things to consider before undergoing such a delicate operation. This is why you have to be prepared both psychologically and physically for the challenges that the operation might bring. If you are having second thoughts, it is that you do not go through with the operation.

Why Remove the Wisdom Teeth

Having wisdom teeth can cause you so much trouble in terms of your dental health and well being. Wisdom teeth are part of the teeth that you can do without especially if that causes harm to your dentures and your overall health in the oral region of your body. There are many reasons why you should remove your wisdom teeth. Here are some of the major reasons why you need to remove your wisdom teeth immediately.

  1. The first reason is to avoid tooth decay. If the wisdom teeth become impacted, bacteria and other food particles can accumulate within the teeth, which will be very difficult to remove and therefore may lead to infection.
  2. Secondly, having impacted wisdom teeth can lead to gum disease and cause it to bleed because the growth of the wisdom teeth may pierce through the gums and cause pain to the patient. In addition to this, the direction of wisdom teeth can cause of accumulation of germs and bits of food under the gums. Infection may occur if this happens. Therefore, you will not be able to open your mouth fully if you are infected.
  3. Another reason would be to maintain a balance original set of teeth. If the wisdom teeth go off within the mouth in the wrong direction, it will disrupt the balance of the dentures. The orthodontic balance will also be disrupted.
  4. In addition to this, the eruption of the wisdom teeth can cause pain to the patient. This is because of the pressure that the internal forces of the teeth would bring. This can also cause the other set of teeth to collapse. 
  5. Wisdom teeth removal should also be done to prevent cysts from growing within the impacted tooth. This growth can also destroy the bones within the jaw line aside from being at risk for cancer and other related diseases that may harm your health. It can also cause other parts of your mouth to be damaged.
  6. The wisdom teeth should also be removed due to physical reasons. This is because if the wisdom tooth grows underneath a denture, it will cause pain and discomfort patient for the patient and will be trickier in terms of removal. Furthermore, you will have to have another set of dentures remade because the gums will alter in shape once the wisdom teeth are out.

The wisdom teeth are something that can cause real harm if you do not remove it immediately. It may not cause any harm for you at first but eventually it will cause you more trouble because of the pain and discomfort that it will give you if it grows in the wrong way.

 It can also cause inconvenient for you because of the frequency of dental visits that you should do in order to have it checked by the dentist if you do not want to have it removed. This is why it is best to remove it early on so that you can avoid complications in terms of your dental health. 

Pros and Cons of Wisdom Tooth Removal

Like any other procedure, there are pros and cons to having wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth are indeed part of your dental set and therefore it needs to be protected as well. However, the location of the tooth would make it very hard for you to reach and brush your wisdom teeth often. If this happens, cavities will attack. The removal of the tooth therefore is an important aspect of keeping your dental health positive. 

Pros and Cons of Wisdom Teeth Removal

Pros of Wisdom Teeth Removal

Here are some advantages to removing your wisdom teeth.

  1. Removing wisdom teeth will save the teeth from having cavities. It can also help you rearrange your teeth in such a way that it will promote proper growth and prevent the mouth from being overcrowded.
  2. In addition to this, if the wisdom teeth contracts cavity and you fail to clean it up because of its distance and location, the bacteria might spread into other parts of your mouth and create complications for your dental health.
  3. Wisdom teeth may also irritate the gums is not removed properly. The teeth remnants may cause the gums to bleed and create an infection that can compromise the patient’s health.
If you remove your wisdom teeth, your dental health will be much safer and you will be less prone to cavities and bacteria that may harm your dental health. This being said, there are still equally important factors that you should consider before doing the procedure. These are as follows.

Cons of Wisdom Tooth Removal

The effects of wisdom tooth removal may depend on the following conditions.

  1. The size, shape and position can determine how much pain you can feel. This will affect it in such a way that the removal can cause extreme pain and suffering for the patient if the teeth is too big or it caused so much bleeding. In this case, you have to go to the dentist to have the results checked.
  2. Removal of the wisdom teeth may result to unhealthy clotting. If this happens, it will result into a dry socket following an extraction. This is because a patient through no fault of his own may disturb the clotting process therefore causing it to dislodge.
  3. If this happens, bleeding might arise again and complications may ensue. In order to protect your teeth, you have to follow the doctor’s instructions as to recovery period activities that can help you hasten the healing of your operation.

You should never take the removal and extraction of your wisdom teeth for granted. Although it is true that the removal in itself will help improve your dental health, you should still consult your dentist before going through the operation.

Having any kind of dental procedure is something that you should prepare for. It is something that should be taken seriously and with caution. These pros and cons can help you know and weigh what your options are. In this way, you will be able to decide what is best for you to do.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Surgery, Healing and Postoperative Care

Surgical Extraction of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Surgery is usually held in your local dental clinic rather than the hospital. Your dentist will ensure that he or she explains the procedure very carefully and with as much tact as possible. The doctor will discuss about the healing process, the operation itself and other information you might want. The use of anaesthetics will ensure that you feel no pain because dentists might have to cut lesions in your mouth to perform the operation.

Healing Process after Surgical Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

The healing process immediately begins after the operation because the blood will rush back into the socket to provide the necessary nutrients for clot formation. A gauze will provide the sufficient pressure necessary for immediate clot formation.

To further promote healing, you must follow the doctor’s prescriptions and advice regarding postoperative medication. You must also go back for follow up consultations. Furthermore, the moment you feel any pain or swelling during recovery, you must immediately go to the dentist for consultation.

Care after Surgical Extraction of Wisdom Tooth

In order for your teeth to heal properly after the removal, you must be observant as to any aberrant signs of bleeding or swelling during the period. The eight hours right after the operation are found to be the most critical but otherwise, it is manageable.

After the operation, you may feel small bone parts scattered across your tongue. Those are the remnants of the tooth, which have been removed. It will disappear as soon as the gum heals. In addition, the stitches can also give you a little discomfort. You have to come back to the dentist for thread removal. However, if dissolvable threads were utilized, it will eventually melt on its own after a few days. Here are additional advices on recovery.

  1. Never Touch the Wound

Within the first 24 hours, be sure not to have physical contact with the wound. This may infect the spot. Make sure to use the unaffected side of your mouth for chewing. 

  1. Smoking is prohibited for a Day

Smoking immediately will cause the wound to bleed.

  1. Bleeding Control

Be sure to have the gauzes replaced every so often if the wound had not been stitched up. It is important to apply pressure on the wound until clot formation. 

  1. No Spitting or Sucking on Straws

This is another cause for bleeding, which can affect the clot and reopen the wound.

  1. Anti Pain Medication

Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to prevent discomfort after minor surgery. The dentist may prescribe stronger analgesics when the patient feels extreme pain.

  1. Swelling

During the first 24 hours, it is advised to put a cold compress on to the wound when swelling occurs with 20-minute intervals. It is also advisable to rinse your mouth with warm water and a teaspoon of salt after twenty-four hours to clean it. Do not do this before the allotted time so as not to disturb the clots.

  1. Recommended Diet
  • Soft
  • Avoidance of hot and cold drinks as well as food to prevent bleeding
  • Avoidance of alcohol 

Schedule a visit to your dentist once a week to prevent any complication.



 User Comments on -  Knowing All About Wisdom Teeth

Sort By :   

Posted By : Dr. Rtiz on 18-Apr-2013 10:18 AM
Larry, may be you have the referred pain but there is no problem in the tooth. In case of referred pain the problem is some where else but the symptoms are at a different place. In your case it looks like that there is some kind of disarticulation in the joint of unknown etiology which was the cause of the pain . When that returned to normal the pain also became normal.

Posted By : Larry on 17-Apr-2013 12:24 PM
Reference molar #31??(bottom, back-last one). Pain scale "0"-to-"10". I had #10 pain, went to dentist and of course by time I went to dentist,pain down to (+/-)#5, exam & x-ray revealed no problem? Referral to endodontic specialist cancelled. Reason I cancelled: Next day after dentist app't, had a "CRACK" = "POP" = (Not referring to a fracture)but "VERY LOUD" non painful "CRACK" in the jaw articulation or (joint). Next day to present time (30 days later) pain scale is at "0". What the heck would cause the molar pain with this scenario anyway? Got me puzzled!

Posted By : Dr. Rtiz on 03-Apr-2013 08:24 PM
Hi Tangda, if the jaw is hurting while opening mouth then it cannot be due to fillings. May be it can be due to anesthetic shot which was given to numb the area. Sometimes while giving the shot it is given in muscles and localized inflammation of muscles take place which causes the stiffness and difficulty in opening the mouth. Keep on doing mouth opening exercises and this should resolve within a week.

Posted By : tangda uduh on 03-Apr-2013 08:23 AM
I am 50 yr. old and getting severe pain in my rt lower 3rd molar in these days whenever wheather changes i.e. summer to winter or vice versa, which is 30 degree obliquely inside the gum.can anyone suggest the remedy also i am keen to know why this tooth is creating problem after so many years.

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 15-Jul-2012 09:37 PM
Dr . Atif just make sure to bite on the gauze piece for at least 1 hour after extraction so that adequate pressure is maintained and blood clot is formed.Also remember not to spit or sneeze too hard after extraction.Remember to take the medications as prescribed by the dentist and take complete rest for proper and speedy recovery.Consult your dentist for medications.

Posted By : Dr. Atif on 15-Jul-2012 01:34 AM
how to manage postoperative bleeding an five month pregnant lady in lower wisdom tooth?

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 26-Jun-2012 02:05 AM
Dear SHELBY, without xray or manual examination you can't tell the exact cause of pain. So, its useless to take medicines just to get rid of pain withougt knowing the exact causes. So, i would recommend you to visit a dentist to get an Xray done and know the cause to eradicate it.

Posted By : Shelby on 25-Jun-2012 04:47 AM
I've been having pain in my back molars for about 2 months. Usually its pain that is tolerable and can take some advil to help stop the pain and swelling. But this morning i was woken up by the pain. I wasn't sure why my teeth are hurting but now i'm pretty sure I need wisdom teeth out asap.

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 31-May-2012 11:06 PM
CASSY, pain in the adjacent tooth after extraction is normal and also common when, as you said, the roots of the tooth extracted are curved...For initial few days don't eat from that side or just take liquid diet. Do warm saline gargles that will promote healing and don't poke the area as it may promote bleeding.

Posted By : Cassy on 31-May-2012 03:23 AM
I had #17 extracted 6 days ago. The tooth was partially erupted and had long slender roots with a hook on one. All of the tooth was removed and I had very little bleeding/swelling. #16 is tender when I eat however, or when I push on it with my tongue. I am assuming that this is normal, but wondering when I should be concerned?

Posted By : rosa on 18-May-2012 09:25 AM
My 13 year old son has been having pain and his orthodontist said his molars are coming in, he has had pain for about a month now. He takes 1 500mg tylenol a day for the pain. Is there anything else he can take for the pain or should he see a dentist? Thank you

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 18-May-2012 12:25 AM
AZLAN, take care not to eat solid stuff. you can have liquid food and continue with liquid diet for atleast a week. After that you can gradually start with semi solid and then solid food...Dont smoke for 4 to 5 days post extraction. It creates a negative pressure thereby dislodging your clot. Start with warm saling gargles 12 hours after extraction....Here is a link showing you about the after care after tooth extraction....'s-and-don'ts-after-tooth-extraction-153.aspx

Posted By : Azlan on 17-May-2012 11:34 AM
I just removed my lower right wisdom tooth 5 hours ago. I started to feel pain after two hours from the operation. The pain killer I am taking is doing good for now. What should I eat now and how long does it take so that I can eat any kind of food?

Posted By : Dr.Ritz on 24-Apr-2012 04:17 AM
Crystal, if its dry socket than you should visit your oral surgeon. He will give you gauze pack of zinc oxide eugenol that will decrease the pain. Take anti-biotics and painkillers as prescribed by your dentist. Do warm saline gargles 2-3 times daily. Don't spit or smoke. Initially only take liquid diet till the healing process in on. It is common that during pain, patients end up taking endless medications and then have to deal with their side effects. So to prevent this you can also try few of the home remedies to get rid of pain due to wisdom teeth extraction. Take cotton, dip it in water and then in clove oil and apply it over the dry socket region. Another thing you can do is to create a mixture of dry salt, turmeric and mustard oil and apply it over the dry socket. Make sure not to swallow any of the mixture. This will definitely alleviate your pain.

Posted By : crystal on 24-Apr-2012 02:46 AM
I has 2 lower wisdom teeth removed 4 days ago. The left side ended up with dry socket almost immediately. I have been in an ungodly pain since. Have never in my life experienced pain like this and I have had broken bones, torn muscles and so on.

Posted By : Dr. Ritz on 21-Apr-2012 11:12 AM
Ira, if the wisdom teeth are causing problem then it is better to get them pulled out. If they are near the nerve even then the oral surgeon makes it sure not to damage the nerve. Te healing time is from 3 weeks to 6 weeks depending upon the type of impaction and the procedure.

Posted By : Ira on 20-Apr-2012 01:06 AM
I am 29, female and have 3 wisdom teeth (1 upper left, 2 on my lower jaws) that are fully developed. The one on my upper jaw does not cause pain but juts out towards my cheek and does not align with the other teeth. Cleaning it is difficult as I can't easily reach it with a toothbrush. The ones on my lower jaw are impacted and occasionally cause pain and the gums swell sometimes too. I try to keep them clean but admittedly this is hard. I have had my teeth x-rayed and these two impacted teeth lie extremely close to the nerves along my jaw. That is why I am afraid to have them removed but I also worry about the occasional pain and the problems I might have in the future. My questions are: 1. Should I consider removing any of my wisdom teeth? 2. If I do, what sort of recovery time and issues am I likely to face? 3. Will it be risky (in terms of damaging the nerve) to remove the teeth? 4. Will it be OK to keep the wisdom teeth? Thanks.

Posted By : nina on 03-Apr-2012 05:59 PM
I made an appointment to have an impacted wisdom tooth removed and was told it would cost $500. Then a couple of days later, an office girl called before the appointment and told me I was "having general anesthesia." I didn't want this but I assumed that was the general procedure. The oral surgeon did not have my x-ray before I went for the procedure. I signed the consent form just before I went to have the procedure without noticing two blanks for me to indicate I had been given sufficient information to have the anesthesia "I had chosen." But instead of general anesthesia I was given IV sedation and when I woke up and was told to sit up, blood spurted out of my nose for over a foot and I swallowed a big gulp of blood. I didn't bleed from my nose after that, but in a short while after applying gauze they said there was too much blood and the surgeon came stomping in and said, "You sure are a lot of trouble." He then put in a hypodermic of pain medication, did some scraping and put in tisseel. When I was alone with the surgeon I asked why the cost was not over $700. He said it was for the anesthesia. Later on I asked for my records and tried to get him to meet with me. The office manager said he refused to meet with me. I found the extraction took 10 minutes and my blood pressure went from 114/52 to 169/99. I saw that I was given 50 mcg Pentanyl and Versed had three numbers, 50, 75 & 80. Two carps of Lidocaine 2% was given. Two weeks before he had extracted two teeth, one upper and one lower back tooth. He only put in one injection for the back tooth. He never probed around either tooth to check whether they were deadened but immediately started taking out the back tooth. Evidently he did not get the spot and I could feel the tissue tearing and quickly realized the tooth wasn't deadened. When the pain traveled up to my pain center my legs shot up in the air. He then stopped pulling and put in another pain shot and things proceeded normally. I told the oral surgeon privately that he had become cruel as he had always before checked to see if my teeth were deadened before extracting them. He made no reply. I am a 76 year-old woman and have never before experienced pain in a dentist's office so I was not expecting pain. And I never would have signed for IV sedation, especially as this way he could decide my pain level and because of the extra cost. I had told my friends about his trying to take out my tooth without deadening it. They said I should make sure my tooth was deadened before I let him in my mouth. After being told I was having general anesthesia I believed I would have no pain and wouldn't have to worry about his giving me pain. Is it reasonable to think that I suffered pain during this wisdom tooth extraction given the rising of my blood pressure and the needing to give me another pain shot when he came in to stop the bleeding?

Posted By : Dr. Ritz on 01-Apr-2012 10:11 AM
Tamara,if you have pain in the extraction socket after 6 days of extraction and it is getting worse then it may be either dry socket or there is infection in the socket. You have to go to the dentist who after clinical examination will find out the exact cause and do the treatment. Till then you can do warm saline rinses and maintain good oral hygiene.

Posted By : Tamara on 31-Mar-2012 10:55 AM
I had my wisdom tooth removed 6days ago. The pain was ok for a few days but then come Thursday I was popping ibprofen 800 every 2 to 3 hours pain was still not subsiding. Come Friday pain let up till later afternoon, pain got worse I had to use a icepack on my face to ease pain. Slept good. Then this morning pain is unbearable. Appt is mondaybut I'm freakin out cause I don't want it to be a dry socket. Any ideas to what it could be? Maybe still infected...

Posted By : Dr. Ritz on 31-Mar-2012 07:53 AM
Marie,For pain you can do warm saline rinses . It relieves the pain or you can take pain killer which is available OTC

Posted By : Marie on 30-Mar-2012 06:29 PM
Thanks Dr Ritz! Until my appointment, what should ii take for the pain?

Posted By : Dr. Ritz on 30-Mar-2012 11:26 AM
Marie,If the tooth was angulated and it was a difficult extraction means lot of bone cutting has to be done then it is normal to have pain after 2 weeks of extraction as it takes around 3 weeks for the extraction socket to heal. Till then do warm saline rinses 2 to 3 times a day and maintain good oral hygiene. if the pain or the swelling increases then go to the dentist

Posted By : marie on 30-Mar-2012 04:33 AM
I got my wisdom teeth removed two weeks to date and I am still feeling pain on the bottom right. All the other extraction sites are fine, but the bottom right causes pain in my jaw and ear and it is driving me crazy. Its a dull, almost constant pain and the ibruprofen ive been taking doesn't seem to help much. I went in to the dentist and he keeps saying its normal but cant take it anymore. He is not the oral Surgeon - I meet with him Wednesday next weekly for my follow up. The bottom two where severely impacted at a 45 degree angle and the dental assistant did mention that the doctor had difficulty removing my bottom right tooth. Is this normal? The pain is worse before I go to bed and when I get up in the morning and it even wakes me up at night. Any Otc meds I can take? I try to take 2 ibuprofen every 4 hours but that does little to ease the pain.... thanks!!

Posted By : Dr. Ritz on 29-Mar-2012 10:20 AM
Mari, If you have decay in the wisdom tooth you should get the restoration done otherwise the cavity will increase in size and then you may have pain. About the cut in lower right if it is in the gum then do warm saline rinses 2 to 3 times a day and try not to irritate it.

 Post your Comments